Have you ever felt like the immediate future was so full of good things, or the possibility of good things, that you were almost TOO excited to take that first step into it? Or like you were so happy that you were scared of what might happen next, but you couldn’t stop smiling anyway because what could even bring you down now? Sometimes I feel like that might just be me (LIFE IS A BEAUTIFUL GIFT!!)–and I am realizing I probably do feel this way more than most people–but I tried to capture that feeling in this playlist and in doing so realized it’s at least me and a few really great bands.
A few weeks ago I listened to tUnE-yArDs’ 2014 album nikki nack and was like WHOA THIS WAS SO GOOD HOW DID I FORGET HOW GOOD THIS WAS?! Merrill Garbus’ voice, and lyrics, fill me with energy and possibility. “I don’t know where to go, but I can’t seem to go slowly.” This is, like, SO the essence of May.
Speaking of anticipation, this morning Radiohead released the first single off what I presume is a soon-forthcoming-but-as-yet-still-unannounced-and-unnamed album. It’s a beautiful song–love those strings–that seems to represent yet another change of direction (or maybe a kind of return?) for the ever-evolving band.
“Up the Wolves” is not a new song (it’s off The Mountain Goats’ classic 2005 album The Sunset Tree) but it’s on my mind this month because last month they closed their set at the Festival of Faith & Writing with it, and it was just so perfectly joyful and celebratory. If you ever get the chance to see The Mountain Goats live, I highly recommend you take it. John Darnielle was perhaps the nerdiest, and most fun, rock star I have had the joy to watch.
Sturgill Simpson’s cover of “In Bloom” is something special.
When you strip back all the varied, at-times-confusing layers that have made up my musical journey, at the core you will find 90s CCM. It’s a legacy I’m not always sure what to do with but when it comes down to it, I have a deep, abiding love for the bands and artists that taught me to love music. Amy Grant is obviously one of the Founding Mothers of this genre, and I will never not think this song is perfect. (I included “Almost Makes Me Wish For Rain” by Lucius directly after this on the mix because that song, especially, shows just how much they are building on Amy Grant’s legacy.)